FCS Semifinals Set: Sam Houston State, Georgia Southern, North Dakota State Join Montana

The 2011 FCS playoffs -- a college football postseason championship tournament, which features more than two teams -- concluded Saturday.

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FCS Semifinals 2011: North Dakota State Downs Lehigh To Advance

College football's final four is set, now that North Dakota State has ran past Lehigh, 24-0. NDSU will welcome the Georgia Southern Eagles next week, while the Montana Grizzlies will match up with Sam Houston State.

This game was much more evenly matched than the one-sided score would suggest. The yardage battle favored the Bison just 384 to 355, each team committed a trio of turnovers, and time of possession was a virtual split. Credit NDSU's bend-don't-break pass defense, which limited Chris Lum and company to 286 yards and an interception on 53 attempts.

Sam Ojuri was the offensive hero for North Dakota State, tallying 132 total yards. Brock Jensen finished with 174 through the air on 28 attempts.

The Bison held Matt Fitz and the rest of the Mountain Hawks ground game to 69 yards on the evening, an encouraging sign with GSU's potent rushing attack up next weekend.


FCS Playoffs Bracket Update, Georgia Southern Vs. Maine Final Score

The mighty CAA -- "the SEC of FCS," according to certain Colonial supporters -- has been vanquished from the 2011 FCS playoffs tournament. The Georgia Southern Eagles overcame a rigid Maine Black Bears defense, 35-23, and will advance to likely play North Dakota State on the road in next week's semifinals, unless Lehigh can pull off an upset.

Maine's offense came to life after a 61-yard first half, scoring three minutes into the third quarter. A second Warren Smith touchdown later in the third made it 35-23. The game's key play came late in the fourth quarter, when the Black Bears faced a fourth-and-11 in GSU's red zone. Laron Scott broke up Smith's effort, and the game was all but won.

The Eagles offense, designed to hang onto the ball for long periods of time, did just that, holding a 23-minute advantage after that fourth down stand. They finished with 45. J.J. Wilcox produced 99 yards and a pair of touchdowns, Jaybo Shaw totaled 135 yards and three scores, and Dominique Swope churned out 81 yards of his own.


FCS Bracket 2011, Sam Houston State Vs. Montana State Final Score

Sam Houston State put on quite the show Saturday afternoon as they defeated Montana State in the FCS quarterfinals match-up. Sam Houston State entered the tournament as the top-seeded team in the bracket and their 49-13 victory over Montana State on ESPN will do nothing to dispel that.

Sam Houston State advances of the FCS semifinals with the victory and will play Montana at home in Huntsville, Texas, next Friday or Saturday. Montana defeated Northern Iowa, 48-10, to advance to the semifinals themselves.

Sam Houston State led 21-6 at halftime, but it was the third quarter when the blowout really happened as the score was 42-13 heading into the final quarter. Sam Houston's Brian Bell completed just five of his 12 passing attempts for 73 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but picked up 63 yards and a touchdown on the ground to complement his meager passing statistics.

Montana State was able to convert on just three of their 14 third-down conversions, causing the majority of their 344 total yards to be all but wasted. The team's lone touchdown came when DeNarius McGhee connected with Everett Gilbert on a 7-yard pass to begin the third quarter.


2011 FCS Playoffs Scores: Montana Easily Handles Northern Iowa, 48-10

The Montana Grizzlies were actually trailing Northern Iowa, albeit early in their Friday night FCS playoff matchup at Washington-Grizzly Stadium. The Golden Panthers held a 7-0 lead after an early score, creating some anxious moments as the Grizz worked to find a rhythm.

Who am I kidding, the anxious moments were non-existent. All Montana did was rip off touchdown after touchdown after falling behind early, outscoring Northern Iowa 48-3 after being down 7-0. The end result was an easy win for the Grizzlies, 48-10, and a pass into the semifinals of the FCS playoffs.

Montana quarterback Jordan Johnson threw for three touchdowns while running for 86 yards and another touchdown to lead the Grizz to the win. Peter Nguyen and Jordan Canada also rushed for a touchdown apiece. Sam Gratton caught four passes for 90 yards and two scores while Kavario Middleton also snagged a touchdown pass.

Jarred Herring caught five passes for a team-high 67 yards and a touchdown in the loss. David Johnson carried the ball four times for 68 yards to lead the way on the ground. Three different UNI quarterbacks threw interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown.

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